Rolls-Royce Falcon

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Preserved Rolls-Royce Falcon III at the Shuttleworth Collection
Type V-12 aero engine
Manufacturer Rolls-Royce Limited
First run 1915
Major applications Bristol F.2 Fighter
Blackburn Kangaroo
Number built 2,185
Unit cost £1,210 (1918)
Developed from Rolls-Royce Eagle

The Rolls-Royce Falcon is an aero engine developed in 1915. It was a smaller version of the Rolls-Royce Eagle, a liquid-cooled V-12 of 867 cu in (14.2 L) capacity. Fitted to many British World War I-era aircraft, production ceased in 1927. The Falcon was designed by R.W. Harvey-Bailey.[1]

An airworthy Falcon survives today and powers a Bristol F.2 Fighter during summer displays.

Design and development[edit]

Production of the Falcon began in September 1916 and was so successful that it was also manufactured under licence by Brazil Straker in Bristol.[2] Production continued until 1927, by which time 2,185 had been built.[3]

An unusual feature of this engine was the epicyclic propeller reduction gear which contained a clutch designed to limit the maximum torque, thus protecting the reduction gears.[4]

The Falcon was notably used in the Bristol F.2 Fighter and Blackburn Kangaroo bomber.



Falcon I (Rolls-Royce 190 hp Mk I)
(1916-17), 230 hp, 250 engines produced in both left- and right-hand tractor versions.
Falcon II (Rolls-Royce 190 hp Mk II)
(1917), 253 hp, carburettor size increased. 250 built at Derby.
Falcon III (Rolls-Royce 190 hp Mk III)
(1917-1927), 285 hp, increased compression ratio (5.3:1), twin carburettors replaced with four Rolls-Royce/Claudel-Hobson units. 1,685 built at Derby.


List from Guttery and Lumsden:[3][4]


Bristol F.2B Fighter, D-8096, is based at the Shuttleworth Collection and is powered by a Falcon III, this aircraft flies regularly throughout the summer months.[6]

Engines on display[edit]

Specifications (Falcon III)[edit]

Rolls-Royce Falcon.jpg

Data from Jane's[7] and Lumsden.[3]

General characteristics

  • Type: 12-cylinder liquid-cooled 60 deg. Vee aircraft piston engine
  • Bore: 4 in (101.6 mm)
  • Stroke: 5.75 in (146 mm)
  • Displacement: 866.5 in³ (14.2 L)
  • Length: 68 in (1,727 mm)
  • Width: 40.3 in (1,024 mm)
  • Height: 37.2 in (945 mm)
  • Dry weight: 715 lb (324 kg)


  • Valvetrain: Overhead camshaft, two valves per cylinder
  • Fuel system: Four Rolls-Royce/Claudel-Hobson carburettors
  • Fuel type: 40-50 octane petrol (pre-1923)
  • Cooling system: Liquid-cooled


  • Power output: 288 hp (215 kW) at 2,300 rpm at sea level
  • Compression ratio: 5.3:1
  • Fuel consumption: 18.5 Imp gal/hr (84 L/hr)
  • Oil consumption: 0.75 Imp gal/hr (3.4 L/hr)
  • Power-to-weight ratio: 0.4 hp/lb (0.66 kW/kg)

See also[edit]

Related development

Related lists



  1. ^ "World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines - 5th edition" by Bill Gunston, Sutton Publishing, 2006, p.185
  2. ^ Pugh 2001, p.82.
  3. ^ a b c Lumsden 2003, p.188.
  4. ^ a b Guttery 1969, p.27.
  5. ^ Alternate designations in italics.
  6. ^ Shuttleworth Collection - Bristol Fighter Retrieved: 13 December 2017
  7. ^ Jane's 1989, p.312.


  • Guttery, T.E. The Shuttleworth Collection. London: Wm. Carling & Co, 1969. ISBN 0-901319-01-5
  • Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War I. London. Studio Editions Ltd, 1993. ISBN 1-85170-347-0
  • Lumsden, Alec. British Piston Engines and their Aircraft. Marlborough, Wiltshire: Airlife Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-85310-294-6.
  • Pugh, Peter. The Magic of a Name - The Rolls-Royce Story: The First 40 Years. Duxford, Cambridge: Icon Books, 2001. ISBN 1-84046-151-9.

External links[edit]